Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jun 21: More Insanity. More Greed. Less Time.

This is a long one because I  had a lot to get off my chest in the first half. If you find me boring, just skip to about half way down.

"During the so-called secret war in Laos(1964-1973), the US dropped the equivalent of a PLANE LOAD of BOMBS every 8 minutes for NINE YEARS straight!!! More than the bombs dropped on Germany and Japan combined during WW2. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history! Even today, 80 million live bombs are still lying undiscovered beneath the soil and have so far  claimed 200,000 lives AFTER the war ended. These still undiscovered bombs were primarily from Operation Barrel Roll and Operation Steel Tiger which dropped 270 million cluster bombs just in one area. Cluster bombs are designed to open in mid air thus being able to spread their damage further."

Nobody knows how many were killed. During the regular bombing it was at least 200,000, mostly civilians. Then there are the way over 200,000 killed after the war was 'over".

This is not the world we told our vets of world war 2 what they were fighting for. And they certainly were not fighting for this wretched repeat of the middle ages whenj dukes and earls and lords ruled because their daddies had been dukes and earls and lords.

And our military certainly did not fight so that corporation bosses could get the power to demand mass murder of millions all over the world.

Picture those bomber pilots who destroyed a helpless Laos and Cambodia marching proudly now with all their medals and feeling pride at preserving 'Christian' values.

God bless America
Land of the free.
Stand beside her and guide her....

Sure. Blame it all on God.

This sort of thing is what gives Christianity and patriotism a bad name. And it has given me a day of thinking of the evil that we have become.

The U.S.  (and friends)  kills freely all over the world, so freely that nobody has a count. Drones fly out every day to kill. Some days they kill enemies of  the U.S. Some days, they just kill.
The New Brunswick Press today features the first of a series of articles on New Brunswick and its confederation with Canada in 1867. The author is a local professor and 'public policy analyst' who is much admired by the Irving press and its owner. His last, great triumph was a book on how the government of New Brunswick is overspending. He did it without a single reference to the wealthy of this province who avoid taxes (so that it's hard to afford public programmes like education and  health care), and who continually seek huge favours of tax rebates, forgivable loans, etc. Kiss. Kiss.

The first instalment of this series is pretty shallow stuff - and not entirely accurate. He speaks, for example, of governments in Ontario and Quebec working on behalf of their bIg business people to make them rich at the expense of the maritimes.

What the hell does  he think big business in New Brunswick does? And he uses this imagery of persecution when a far more important factor in maritime decline was geography. Nor does he mention the stranglehold that local business has always had on New Brunswick going back to the days of the timber barons.

Then he rises in triumph to say that he has asked people why we should accept federal taxes raised partly on shale gas from Alberta, but object to developing our own shale gas. This he calls a moral and economic question. And he says nobody can ever answer his point.

If so, he must be  hanging out with a pretty retarded crowd. We shouldn't and Alberta shouldn't because the planet is dying as a result of digging for shale gas. And, I dunno, I kinda think there`s a moral issue in that.  If Dr. Savoie wants moral issues, he might wish to discuss Canada's role in the mass murder of 200,000 Maya in Guatemala. Or he might not.

He ends with the statement that New Brunswickers are among the poorest people in Canada. He says he tells people they should trust the private sector to change that - and nobody has been able to tell him a better way.

That, Dr. Savoie, is because your ears are badly plugged up. It is the private sector which has made this a poor province as it bleeds us with pleas for tax forgiveness, for free loans....

Norbert Cunningham will probably write a column on how wonderful this shallow and even servile article is.. I can't wait to see the next three in the series.
On the good side, The Moncton Times and Transcript has 2 (count them 2) articles worth reading. Both are on the rise of temperature for this summer. And both agree we are facing a a summer of heat rising by about one degree ---and that such a rise is enough to be damaging and serious warning of what is to come..

But I don't think Dr. Savoie had time to read those stories. So bring on the shale gas. Morality demands it.
And here's a story about our forests (sent to me by a reader. And thank you.,) It's about the impact of private ownership of 'our' forests.

This is the province in which our chief medical officer raised concerns about the effect of agricultural chemicals on our forest and on us. So she was dismissed and removed. The paper never told us why.  Dr. Savoie never wrote a penetrating article on it.

But we know damn well why, and we know who gave the orders. Almost all of our provincial governments are corrupted by big business. But New Brunswick is far, far the worst one. We don't have a democracy. Both the Liberals and Conservatives are servile, and both have been servile for a long, long time.
And the NDP and the Greens are going to have to become a lot tougher if they want to do anything for this province. They people they have to bring under control are quite ruthless. And I'm not sure the province is salvageable.

This is a province in which people are afraid to have an opinion. They're scared of the Irvings as their ancestors were scared of the landowners back in the lumbering days. I think of those times in Quebec at the height of the separatist movement when opposing separatism could be very scary, indeed. But at the worst of if, I could speak to groups and tell the truth. And they would respond openly and honestly.

Not in New Brunswick. This is a province whose battle cry is a whimper.  In St. John, they breathe poisoned air - and thank Mr. Irving for it. Mr. Irving says he doesn't want to pay land taxes on vast holdings. And our elected representatives can't scamper fast enough to please him. (And a Dr. Savoie tells us all about  how Mr. Irving who has taken billions out of this province is creating jobs. If that is what he's tryingn to do (and it isn't), this is the worst job creation plan I  have ever seen.)

It's going to take tough action by the NDP and Greens - and I've yet to see that kind of toughness in either of them. And I really wonder how either of them can get the support of a population that is too scared to listen.
We are murdering and plundering all over the world on a scale Hitler could only envy.  
                                                                                                                      We put Canadian troops in danger to fight American wars as we once fought the  Boer War for the British. We have helped to create more than 8o million refugees, most of whom will never find a decent (or long) life. We have joined with the U.S. to murder and exploit the peoples of South America. A million bombs in the soil of Laos and Cambodia just waiting to explode are only a small part of the story.

We have practiced corruption, murder and plundering on a vast scale, and with much more to come. We have turned democracy into rule by a new, greedy and self-appointed aristocracy. We have allowed ourselves to become ignorant of the horrors we inflict on the rest of the world - and on us.
How the hell did we let this happen?
Just after writing the above,  I got this note from a clergyman.......

I asked a church, in a district suffering from poverty and social services to invite its membership to participate in a significant demonstration of resistance to the domination of the political and social landscape by the Irving patriarchs. The discussion was short. The consensus was against participation. The reason? So that the Irving family would not get annoyed with the United Church.

It has not been a good day.
Let's start with something intelligent from Haaretz.

(For goys and shiksas who read this, a goy is yiddish for gentile male. And a Shiksa is yiddish for gentile female. Oy vay means, roughly, omigosh. That can be emphasized as oy vay schmeer.

(My, I miss the Jewish community in Montreal. It was open to ideas. It wasn`t afraid to challenge the powers. It had a great respect for truth.)
The U.S. has, with its allies pursued policies in the middle east that lead straight to the great war that nobody will win. The American goal is that American oil billionaires should have control of all the oil profits to be taken out of the middle east.

This is of no benefit to anybody but the oil billionaires who tuck all those profits into their secret bank accounts, and who leave it up to us to pay for their wars.
Worse, it has destroyed the stability of whole regions as governments are destroyed and as countries like Israel, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Yemen scramble to survive and as countries like Russia and China feel compelled to move in - and most of Europe and Canada. U.S. foreign policy since 1945,  and especially since 2001, has been a disaster that has destabilized the whole world.

And this has been done solely to benefit the financial aristocracy that rules us.
And Israel, of all countries, has become a nation of racist persecution.
Watch ALL of this. This is what a nation  that is breaking down looks like.
Under international law, the U.S. has no right whatever to be in Syria - just as it had no right to attack most of the 70 plus countries it was attacked since 1945. Unless the other country attacks you, one cannot send in troops without an invitation from the other government. The U.S. had no such invitation from Laos, Cambodia, Haiti, Guatemala, Cuba,  Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria - and no such invitation for its drones to invade and kill people in Pakistan and other countries our news media don't tell us about.

Since 1945,  the U.S. has been committing war crimes as bad as any that we hanged naziis for committing. And, on many occasions, Canada has joined in - as in AFghanistan, Libya, Irag, Haiti....

And we may now be paying one hell of a price...

The U.N. was created as part of a promise to our World War 2 veterans to prevent future wars. WE betrayed that promise from the start. On Nov. 11, we should mourn our veterans of war. And, oh, we should also mourn our betrayal of all we said they died for.
And here's a story about the climate change that us smart folks know isn't happening. You go right ahead with those pipelines, Mr. Trudeau. They create  jobs.
Most of the great empires of the past have killed their own poor, just as they killed millions of those they conquered. Britain, in its most glorious days, suffered massive poverty and early death. Trump is continuing this tradition in the U.S. by putting medical care out of the reach of the poor. The Guardian looks at this phenomenon in the light of the disastrous apartment buiiding fire in London.
Welcome to the real world where the western powers are the great supporters of Naziism. (For a hint of this, check out photos of the soldiers in today`s Ukraine. These are the ones on òur` side. You may notice that many of them have swastikas on their helmets. These are soldiers of the Ukrainian Nazi party that we have welcomed into the Ukrainian government.

It makes sense to the west because, despite calling his party a socialist party, Hitler was not a socialist, and there was nothing socialist about what the naziis did. Far from seeking control of big business, the Nazi party was a party of big business. That`s why Henry Ford and many, many other capitalists in Canada, the U.S., and Europe supported Hitler. He was their wall against socialism. (Much of what we have been told about that war is simply not true.)

Capitalists are still drawn to Hitler`s naziism.
This story probably won`t make our Irving press.
Expanding the war in Syria is insane, so insane that it risks a world, nuclear war. (It`s also illegal under international law.) But Trump is doing it. Watch for Trump to do it. Watch for him to demand Canadian troops. Watch for Justin Trudeau to click his heels and say yessir.

The U.S. is an empire in advanced decay. And that`s when they are most desperate and irresponsible.
Guess who your real enemies are.

I wonder where New Brunswick would come in this list. Probably lower than the U.S. because the wealthy of this province work hard for their money, too hard to waste it in taxes to help hungry kids.
Enough for today.

Oh - if you want a series of real horror stories, just google Canadian mining companies in Guatemala.
Our mining companies have a long history of brutality, exploitation, environmental destruction - and murder - in other countries. And they have had the full cooperation of Canadian governments in covering up.
Among those 'incidents' is involvement in the mass murder of 200,000 Maya.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lots of insanity. Lots of greed. not much time.

The strong showing of the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in the British election came as a tremendous shock to the British news industry. Just about all of them had expected Corbyn to go down in flames. Instead, Conservative leader May, though she won a plurality, looks like the one more likely to go down in flames.

The following is a long and repetitive piece. But it makes an interesting point.
The commercial media may be losing their credibility as people turn to the web. They certainly deserve to lose it as the commercial news  media become outright liars or, like the Irving press in New Brunswick, sheets of trivia designed to keep people in ignorance.

Yesterday, in world news, Irving news carried FIVE, large stories about shots fired at Republican politicians while they were playing baseball. That's in addition to all the previous stories since it happened.

Then there's another big, world story. "Toronto women-only spa's 'no male genitals' rule ignites  transgender debate online. What's  happening in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan? Who gives a damn? Try this instead.

On the commentary page, we have a gem by Assisting managing editor Rod Allen who has a talent for writing pointless stories, mostly about himself, and with a ponderous, plodding humour. Like the weekly, Saturday commentary by a local lawyer/politician, Allen's is not a commentary at all. It's just a pointless, self-indulgent story.

The only exciting news in today's paper is on page 3. The Irving Chapel will begin its summer/fall series with a sermon about Father's Day. Yes, it will. Way to hit on the  tough topics, rev! The minister, of course, has a doctorate in theology. Nothing but the best for the Irving chapel. And there will be "special music", not just your ordinary crap hymns, nossir. Expect the best music money can buy.
Speaking of religion and confessions and stuff, I should say I'm a socialist. No, that's not the same as a communist. In fact, there has never been a communist government anywhere in the world. A communist society would  have very little government.  It would have to be a society of people working together in cooperation for the common good. That would certainly require a highly Christian society - and we don't have one. Nor, looking at the limpness of church  thought after 2000 years  are we likely to have one - ever.

If there has never been a communist, why do our journalists constantly refer to communism? Because they don't know any better. The word has nothing to do with mass murder, torture, police state.....  Anyway, you can find all of those in capitalist states all over the world.

So what is socialism? It starts with the needs of people. It starts with the assumption that people, all people, have equal rights. And the role of government is to protect their rights and to meet their needs.

That's not true of capitalism. It's starting assumption is that if we allow some people to get super rich, their wealth will float down like raindrops from heaven upon the place beneath. And that's rubbish. It has never been true.

The years of the British empire saw a tremendous rise in the wealth of major capitalists. But Britain, for most, remained a place of massive poverty and neglect. Much the same was true in Canada and the U.S. The only period of significant improvement came during and after World War Two. But that was a very brief blossoming that ended over forty years ago.

The wealth of the wealthy stays with the wealthy. Many of the wealthy make it worse by not paying any taxes at all. That's why government budgets often create serious deficits. It's not government wasting that does that.  It's private greed. And it helps to explain the rapid growth of a income gap between the very riich and the rest of us. And that's as true of Russia and China as it is of Canada and the U.S.

If it were true that creating an upper class based on extreme wealth then, despite what commentators in the Irving press might say, the wealth does NOT filter down to the rest of us. If it did, then countries like Congo and Guartemala and Haiti would be paradises instead of hells.

But the wealthy don't exist sprinkle wealth on the rest of us. The exist to take wealth from us, all of us, and to keep it for themselves. That's why the gap between the very rich and the rest of us has been  growing. At that, we're lucky. They kill people in other countries.

No.  I think the purpose of government is to serve us, not just the rich. I think we need controls on big business - like an other human activity. We need bigi business to maintain safe working conditions, adequate salaries, to pay taxes, and to get its nose out of government. And I think (know) that some fields are best run by government - like health care, like education.... Government should exist to serve all of us, not just the wealthy.

So I'm a socialist. I also know, as anyone above the IQ of an ant should know, that the New Brunswick Liberal and Conservatives exist to kiss the unattractive bottoms of billionaires. Well, to each his own.
Chief bum-kisser Justin Trudeau.
A great many Americans, probably most, willl believe the nonsense written by this politician.

They'll believe it because their media and their politicians have never told them the truth about the American record in Haiti. One of the most brutal national records is the record of U.S. treatment of Cuba. It helped in the legal punishment of a poor country for having the nerve to break away from French rule. In World War 1, the U.S. put Cuba under a  U.S.military dictatorship (so much for American democracy). The main job of the dictatorship was to keep the people in poverty to serve as cheap labour for American businessmen  (clap,clap, clap says the chamber of commerce). It then imposed a series of torturing and murderous dictators who were more brutal than the U.S. army dictators had been. The Cuban people existed to work long hours in terrible conditions at pay that nobody could survive on. There was no medical care. There was virtually no education. There was constant theft, rape and murder - by the police.

Castro, for the first time, made Cuba livable. Despite tremendous pressure from the U.S. - which included supporting an invasion of Cuba,  bombing Cuba, and blowing up a civilian airliner killing all aboard (almost none of which made our news media), Cuba won. Living standards rose. Schools were made available to all, and are free all the way through university.

But the U.S. wants to take it back to the 'good old days'. Yes, it is suddenly concerned about human rights. Nor will it occur to American readers that human rights in Cuba are a lot more real than they are in the U.S. The U.S., the country that not long ago slaughtered 200,000 Mayas in Guatemala is telling Cuba to improve its human rights.

And always remember how it is that is behind these statements. It's the big business people who own American politicians.
You still think that making the rich richer will benefit all of us?
I would not agree with this next writer that establishing socialism would end all wars. It would be a step in the right direction, though.
Watch for more on this topic. Europe is not going to settle for being a U.S. colony. Canadians, too, should start waking up before it's too late.
Journalists knew, or should have known from the start, that the Ukraine government in power today was put in place by American agents. The previous,  legally elected government was disposed of to make way for friends of the U.S. But no hint of that story has ever reached our mainstream. In the years since then, the fighting has not stopped.

In short, this was not a Russian plot. It was an American plot. And Canadian troops have just been sent to the region in case it goes out of control. Brilliant move, Justin.
A fire in an apartment building in Britain has killed far more people than the terrorist attack in Manchester. Who caused it? Probably the building owners who ignored safety precautions. The result was that more British got killed by their landlords than by terrorists. There are a few lessons in there.

So why have western news media which went ballistic after the terrorist attack been so  quiet after the landlord attack?
British prime minister Theresa May visited the site of the London high-rise apartments that burned with a high but still uncounted loss of life. But she refused to speak to any of the survivors. What a sweetheart! Of course, she has to be careful because it seems that certainly members of the government may have been responsible for the fire.
Why does the U.S. hate Iran? Because it went to all the trouble of overthrowing the legally elected Iranian government so it could impose a U.S.-appointed dictator of murderous and corrupt habits - the kind of guy oil companies like. And those ungrateful Iranians kicked him out and dared to form a democracy again.
Ukraine could heat up. And Canada is there. Why?

Incidentally, a major group in the Ukraine government is the founder of Ukraine's National Socialist Party which, like Hitler's National Socialist Party  (on which it if modelled), is no socialist at all. It is far right and racist, just as Hitler's was.
This one is not so much a news story as a lesson in how the world works. It's about how a popular make-up company flocked to support Hitler in France.
Sorry to be late with this. As I grow older and wobblier, this has to be expected.

The lesson, surely, from all of this is that we have very, very little time to act on climate change. And we can't act on when we're planning to be using oil for longer than the time we  have left. Nor can we do it while we're building all our decision making around the wishes of billionaires who understand only greed. And we certainly can't do it while we're fighting wars.

For a start, we  have to cut off the power that allows the wealthy to murder all over the world at no cost to themselves. And we can do that only enforcing real democracy by learning how to judge the people we elect to govern that democracy. It's not a matter of tinkering. I wish it were. It's a matter of profound change in our society. And we have very, very little time to do it.

So take the Irving press and stuff it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

July 14: The big problem that the Irving press won't touch.

All of these stories are of climate change that IS happening. But the Moncton Times and Transcript has no room for this today. It needed the space for the big story that the Bill Cosby  trial will resume today.

Almost always trivial, the Irving press rarely touches on climate change - probably because Mr. Irving wouldn't like it. After all, he's in the oil business and, like the rest of the business, he's been downplaying the threat of climate change.

Ain't happenin' is the official word in the Irving press. Just think, the oil barons of this world, few of whom have scientific training of any sort, have decided that the world's professional scientists don't know what they're talking about.

That's common in big business as a group. Few big business leaders have dazzling educations, Certainly, for a group coming from so much money, they commonly have far less education in anything than one might expect. No, their wealth is based on inheritance more than brains. So climate change isn't happening.

But it is.

Thanks to the oil barons, we have thrown away some thirty years doing nothing about it. And there's a lot to do.

There will be refugees in the hundreds of millions, fleeing the drying up of farm lands. It's already happening in Africa. Expect more, much more and soon in Asia, South America - and the south western U.S.  Growing warmth in the Arctic and Antarctic with replace some of the farmland, but not much. And that will happen in a world with a population that is growing very rapidly, and is already running low on food. There will be wars, quite terrible wars, and mass slaughter of the starving.

And the reaction of the oil industry? Well, they've noticed the warming of the Arctic. But all it means to them is that this is another place to drill for oil. They're also hot on oil pipelines which take a long time to be profitable - so these great minds are planning to maintain fossil  fuel burning for decades to come.

How much time do we have cut back severely on fossil fuels? Well, we're already past the starting point by thirty years - with no significant reduction. Nobody knows how much time we have left. Many people who know what they're talking about suggest we have, maybe, twenty years to complete enormous changes. Maybe.

Are the leaders of the oil industry stupid? Greedy? It's  hard to say. They show signs of both. I mean, with their sandwich and coffee money safely stored in secret bank accounts, they could probably manage a drop in oil income while still living higher than the rest of us.

Whatever their intellectual shortcomings might be, they should realize that if we die of climate change, then so will they. Or maybe all that applause from the chamber of commerce has gone to their heads.

All of this, by the way, is what comes from generations of increasingly allowing big business to avoid regulation - to pollute, to poison, to dictate to their governments which wars to fight. Virtually all wars since 1945 have been fought to profit big business..  (As were most wars before 1945). The wars in the middle east are oil wars to let western oil companies get a monopoly on middle east oil. The U.S. has been fighting imperial wars to make the American wealthy even wealthier since the day the U.S. was founded.)

Capitalism can work. But, like all isms, if we allow to run wild, it will destroy all of us including (thought they haven't figured this out yet) the capitalists. Remember, being born rich does not necessarily indicate high intelligence.
To do this, we need to create the new world order we promised to those who fought in World War 2. But, instead of doing that, our business-owned governments chose to launch the imperial wars of the last seventy years.
Sorry, big business. Go fight your own wars. And pay for them.
On a related topic.....

You can count on the Liberals and the Conservatives to do nothing. And the irving press won't even mention it.
If I ever criticize Israel, I hear from people accusing me of being anti-semitic. (I guess they don't know that arabs are semites, too.) I wonder who they'll react to Haaretz criticizing Israel.


There are also many Jews who are anti-European Jews. I often saw this in Montreal when speaking to Jewish groups. Most Jews in North America and Europe are Ashkenazi. But there are smaller numbers who Sephardic. These are Jews who have lived in Palestine since the days of ancient Israel. And they have lived, largely, in peace and friendship all those years with their Palestinian Muslim neighbours.

They profoundly reject the Azhkenazi (European) majority in Israel who treat Palestinians, even those who are Israeli citizens, with contempt and restrictions. They reject Israel's unending theft of Palestinian land, and its enforcement of poverty on Palestine.

We might also pause to think about our, western role in all this.

We did NOT create Israel to give Jews a safe haven after the war years. The idea of an Israel for Jews originated among western gentiles about World War 1. And it was not intended to do them a favour. It was get rid of those who were in Europe and America. In short, it was a gentler version of Hitler's decision to end the Jewish question.

It was revived after World War Two because North America and Europe still wanted to get rid of the Jews. Canada and the U.S., in particular, did not want Jews.

Nobody had the right to hand over what was then Palestine to anybody. Most Christians today don't know that. But Jews have not forgotten.
The people who control the drones are, of course, patriots fighting for their country.
Big capitalism looks for eternal growth. But we can't have it. We have reached and perhaps are falling in our ability to feed the world population. We are threatening the survival of the planet with the out of control use of fossil fuels.
Who creates terrorism?  We do.
David Suzuki, one of Canada's most eminent scientists, used to be a regular contributor to our Irving press. He was superb on issues of climate change. I guess that's why they dropped him.
Britain could well be heading towards a break with its role as America's bumboy. Expect to see some of this in Europe, too. And Canada? Nothing will happen so long as Liberals or Conservatives form Canadian governments.
The U.S. has relied heavily on bombing as its major war weapon. It's highly indiscriminate and kills many civilians. But few countries can defend themselves against U.S. bombers, so the U.S. can kill without getting killed back.

By the way, for anyone who thinks war is glorious, I recommend a film I came across on Netflix. It's called Gallipoli.

Oh - the U.S. has attacked an estimated 70 countries since 1945. Can you guess how many countries have attacked the U.S. in that time? (No. Afghanistan did not attack the U.S.)
And Trump expands the disaster the U.S. has been making in Central America for over a century. And, of course, it's all the fault of the people of Central America.
There are two, huge problems on our plate. One of them is climate change. The other is to create something resembling the world government the UN was intended to be - an project deligerately destroyed by the U.S.

As a footnote, let's rethink the terms 'patriotism' and 'fighting for one's country.' In every nation I have ever heard of, these  terms are used to indicate glory. And if they really mean glory, then the Naziis who ran the death camps did it because they were patriotic and fighting for their country. Ditto for  terrorists.

Let's get over it. Actually, the reasons people serve in the military are many and varied. And we have a bad habit of labelling   everybody on our side as patriotic and glorious, and the other side are all evil. These terms are just used to manipulate us. Was it the  cowboys or the Indians who were being patriotic and fighting for their country? And, if it was both, what the hell can those terms mean?

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12:a mad, mad world

Two views on Canadian troops now in Latvia. Note how the first one, in particular, draws attention to Russian 'aggression' in Crimea. In fact, though, this all began with the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine -  by U.S. agents. And Crimea has a population that is largely Russian. So who's the aggressor?

Why is Canada putting its troops at such risk? Because Canada is a colony obeying its mother country.
Canada is raising its defence budget - again, because Canada is a colony and the empire wants us to raise it. It's the same reason that Saudi Arabia has just pledged an enormous defence budget. In both cases, Trump, it's because our imperial master, Trump, demands it. He says it will create jobs.

No doubt it will, though largely in the U.S. because that's the country that has a huge defence industry. We are also going to go into debt so that Trump can create jobs in the U.S. Of course, most of the American people won't see much of that money. It will go to the stunningly corrupt and corrupting leaders of American defence industries.

Canadian bankers have already had hundreds of meeting with  the new, Canadian government to rig deals. How many have you had?
Buctouche is a town close to where I live. The web carries pages about its wonderful chapel built by the Irving family and called, touchingly, the Irving Chapel. It sits in a great stretch of land which the Irvings have much improved since God knocked off on the seventh day. Grass, trees, bushes, flowers are professionally maintained. It's so much better than it was at Creation.  It's a major attraction for devout tourists in the summer when tourists flock to the services, admiring the splendour as they devoutly sip coffee and chat in the barn.

Nearby is the Roman Catholic church. It doesn't have professinal landscapers. Nor does it have a billionaire buried on its grounds. And, of course, it doesn't draw tourists. So it gets little attention on the web.

But it has the grave of a local man who didn't become a billionaire. (He became a lay missionary, and very few of them become billionaires.) He, along with large numbers of Catholic clergy and 200,000 Maya people was murdered by the Guatemala army with massive American help. Those impudent Maya had been complaining about American and Canadian billionaires who were keeping them in poverty to work in mines and on big business farms, and who were destroying the land and the waters as they did it.

Of course, billionaires don't do yucky things like murder people in the hundreds of thousands. They get their governments to do that.

Well, of course it doesn't attract tourists. I mean, it doesn't even have a barn where people can have coffee and chat.

John 11:35
Trump says, "Roll over". And Trudeau rolls over.

We're going to play a larger military role on the world stage? Yeah. Wars have always been a great way to solve problems.
Canadian news media seem to be paying little attention to South America, particularly Venezuela. The brutality and exploitation of that continent by American (and Canadian) big business could be building to a general crisis.
This can be a difficult read because of its use of terms we rarely see in our news media. But it's worth the effort. In particular, note the chart below saying where pro-ISIS tweets come from. Most are from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi leaders, like those of ISIS, seem determined to pull Islam back to a primitive and rigid form.
This is a clearer explanation of what Saudi Arabia is about. It's a sort of arabic counterpart to those 'Christians' who are admirers of Trump.
I wonder. Is it possible that our sub-concious guilt is what makes us allow Israel to do what it is doing to arabs in Israel and in Palestine?

In the 1930s and 40s and much later, Canadians and Americans were as anti-semitic as they come. We refused to accept Jewish refugeees before and, for several years, after the war. We often restricted jobs and housing for Africans, Chinese, and Jews well through the 1970s and later.

We are now being swept into a hatred of Muslims  that much resembles our old hatred of Jews. And Israeli Jews are starting to resemble - cool it and think before you begin swearing at me - Naziis.
I don't entirely agree with this next one. I think it's extremely kind to Trump. But - I also think it's a huge mistake to think that Trump (or the Republicans) are the only bad guys in this. We're watching the moral collapse of both parties - and with no third party in sight.
The whole, NATO world is turning to 'defence' spending as a substitute for having any national economic programme. The money spent will deepen the crisis of our social programmes while enriching, mainly, the already rich.
And then it will crash.
Al nusra killers were terrorists. Now, they're good guys.
A long read, but  a good one on how political decisions are made.
If Trump is a bad guy, it doesn't    necessarily mean that from FBI director Comey is a good one.
Britain has been stunningly murderous nation for centuries - all done to benefit the rich. The empire is mostly gone. But the murder continues, commonly under the wing of the U.S. government.
Canadians don't pay much attention to British politics any more. They should. Prime minister May won the election - but so badly that she might have been better off to lose it. The leader on the rise is socialist Jeremy Corbyn.  Canada's NDP should pay attention to that before it becomes just the tummy fat of the Liberal party (which is, itself, really a Conservative party.)
Socialism sounds radical? Well, we now have a capitalism which has plunged us into constant war, has inflicted murder, starvation and chaos all over the world, has sent increasing shares of the nation's money into the pockets of the about it over coffee next time your in the barn at the Irving Chapel.
Remember that Syrian boy in Aleppo who appeared on TV news as being saved by Syrian rebels  during the siege of that city? Within just weeks (rushing for an academy award) a film was produced that won in a 'special category' at the Oscar Awards.

It was obvious - or should have been  -  from the start that this was a propaganda stunt to raise enthrusiasm for the war on Syria. The boy was very dirty - as little boys often are. But there was no sign of injury. Was he a casualty of the Russian aerial attacks on Alleppo? It could be. Aerial attacks commonly have that effect on children. If fact, the U.S. has been the biggest killer of children from the air in the world for over sixty years. And it doesn't usually get them just dirty.

And the film Academy just happened to rush through a special category at the awards ceremony? And this just happened to be the winner?

The story was obviously a propaganda fake. And almost all our news media ran it as though it were a true story. And millions of Europeans, Canadians and Americans bought it because we've been conditioned to see the 'other side' as evil, and ours as good. That's what the real 'fake news' operates on.

We are suckers for propaganda news. As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
It would be good for more politicians to tell us what the news media don't.
We mourn the recent terrorist attacks in Britain - as we should. But have you noticed that Britain does not have refugees climbing in rubber rafts  to drown in the Atlantic as they try to flee the country? Our hearts go out to the dozens of British who were killed.

But not for the millions of muslims and others that we have killed, not for the millions we are deliberately starving to death in Yemen.....  

We shoot Muslims. They shoot back. And that shows how evil they are.
old joke.  Newspaper headline says fifty people killed in train wreck in Turkey. One of the dead is a Canadian."

Reader's reaction, "Oh, the poor man."

That's they way we think. And that's why it's so easy for billionaires to get us to fight wars for their profit - and even to make us pay for them.
And now, just a bit of news from New Brunswick.

I get a monthly paper from a nearby city in New Brunswick. It's only a single sheet. But it has more news in that single sheet that the Moncton Times and Transcript and the other Irving rags have in a whole month.

Among the earliest settlers of New Brunswick thousands of years ago were the Maliseet. They want to rename a river as "Wolastoq", meaning beautiful and bountiful river. That sounds like an excellent idea. It helps to restore our sense of the past and our connection with our native peoples.

At present, it's called the St. John River. And that doesn't raise memories of any kind.
Another story is about a mining company called Barrick Gold, a favourite among Canada's moneyed class. Two  women from Papua New Guinea attended its annual general meeting. They were there to represent well over a hundred women who were routinely raped by the mine's security guards.
Of course, the company refused to allow them to speak.

This didn't make the Irving press, either.

For more information about this news sheet, contact -
The Moncton Times and Transcript was its usual hideous self. What's most interesting about the first section is that all its news comes from 2 reporters in Moncton, and 3 reporters at a sister Irving paper. This look very much like a paper run on the cheap.

The editorial is the usual bit of local trivia. A columnist once wrote a column complaining about bad drivers in Moncton. So the editor pretty much copied it. Neither had done any research to prove anything.

Hey, you want scary driving? In Portugal, it's rare to see a car that doesn't have dents on it. In China, my driver drove with his lights off at night. We turned onto a highway. After a minute or so, he turned the lights on.

I saw cars, trucks, a bus, horses pulling wagons, a boy walking with a water buffalo, several men pulling hand carts.

Then my driver turned the lights off.

"Hey! Why did you do that"?

"The lights get in people's eyes."

There are two columns on our provincial government spending. Neither of them mentioned  the prime cause of that overspending. No. It's not the homeless. It's not the hungry. It's not loafers who don't want to work.

It's more likely the very wealthy of this province who don't pay taxes. It's also the friends of the government who get 'forgiveable' loans for their businesses. It's a huge industrial lot owned by the owner of this paper who got permission not to pay the large tax on it this year.

How much of this is going on? Ain't nobody talking about it. And the Irving press certainly isn't going to talk about it. The writer also quotes Frank McKenna who was a very popular  prime minister of the province. I cannot find any record of him ever being critical of the wealthy. And it quotes a pet professor who wrote a book on our economic situation. He, too, was D and D on the role of the wealthy in milking us into poverty.

Canada&World? There must be nobody starving in Yemen or anywhere in Africa. Nobody got killed in Afghanistan. Or Libya. Or Iraq. Or Syria. And there's no rioting in Venezuela. The new, British Prime Minister has announced her cabinet.  Read it and get excited. Something to discuss over coffee at the Irving Chapel barn.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 10: A long one. So make yourself a drink and a snack.

In my copy of the current Brunswick News, the there's a big story about how a local man in making vodka. Then there's a hot story that a family in a nearby village wishes to keep a couple of horses on its property. There's not a single story in the first section that's worth reading.

Are there any wars going on in  the world, any starvation, any refugee hardships? Not in the Brunswick News.

The owner of the paper is the wealthiest man in the province. He and the government (whether Liberal or Conservative) are on very friendly terms. And,  despite his impact on the province and his ready access to financial assistance and his reluctance to pay a large property tax or any tax at all, a story about him in the paper usually appears only if he is taking bows for giving charity to somebody. This 'charity' looks like pure PR.

The Brunswick News is not designed to spread news. It's designed to keep readers in ignorance of what's going on the the world, to put them into a stupor with regular features such as which famous people we have never heard of are having a birthday today.

Here is a very interesting looking at the Irving papers.

The current boss of Brunswick News is Jamie Irving, grandson of the owner. Jamie Irving has a master's degree in journalism. I bet his old professors are bustin' their buttons over that.
The Irvings are reminiscent of a common phenomenon throughout history.  A person, often a warrior, became a ruler because of his military skill and the support of a core of warriors who became his aristocracy. His son then inherited the title - and the sons of the warriors became lords and dukes and earls.
Such as system commonly led, sometimes within just a generation, to a leadership that was low on brains - but which convinced itself it was superior to the common people - almost in a racial sense. It, therefore, had a right to rule and a superiority to all other humans. As the generations passed, this produced remarkably numbers of people quite unfitted to the power they inherited. (One thinks here of the British House of Lords, of many of the monarchs,  and the generals who became generals only because they were aristocrats (which explains the problems of the British high command in the Boer War and in World War 1. It also explains the ideocy of the charge of the light brigade.)

The same things happen with an aristocracy of wealth. The Rockefeller family, for example, goes back well over a century. But there is little sign of any inherited intelligence in it. The reality is that all the but the first one were born into wealth. The rest simply inherited wealth - and power and a belief in their superiority to common people.

It is suggestive that the  descendants of such families, despite their financial ability to do so with ease, rarely move to advanced studes in university.)
This item will give pleasure to those who hateTrump. But it really doesn't matter.

I doesn't matter because all the U.S political powers in Congress and Trump himself have been following much the same policies as followed by Bush and Obama. All of them have aroused racial hatred - exactly as Hitler did - and have used that hatred to win support for wars that will benefit the wealthy - just as Hitler did.

Hitler was not a isolated phenomenon. All the empires of Europe and the U.S. were built on the assumption that the native country (whichever it was) was home to a super race that had a right to abuse others.

It's been used by many national leaders for thousands of years. And capitalism has embraced it fully.
Keep an eye on Trudeau. The major purpose of defence spending in the U.S. - and now in Canada - is to make huge profits for billionaires to be handed over by corrupt politicians. It contributes nothing whatever to Canada. But it does place us in great danger of being dragged into more U.S. aggressions.

Among other problems, the U.S. cannot get enough Americans to join the army - not since Vietnam. So its army now relies heavily on 'mercenaries' - highly paid thugs.

And every dollar that we give to defence billionaires is a dollar that cannot go to fighting the biggest war ever - climate change. We have very, very little time to deal with it. And we have a prime minister who may be the weakest in Canadian history.

On the other hand, we may need a massive army as a result of climate change. The western world cannot deal with the 80 or so million refugees it has created. How do you think the west will deal with the hundreds of millions of refugees we are still creating?

Big business is ruled by greed and, frequently, by the stupidity created by greed.  If we want to survive we need the real patriotism that is demonstrated by saving Canada (and the rest of the world) from climate change. That - not fighting wars for American billionaires - is what patriotism means.
The Irving press (like much of the North American press in general) frequently attacks the public sector.  It NEVER attacks the private sector. We are raised to believe that private business is good, and public business is bad.This sample is about Canada. But it applies to most of the press all over the western world.
The following is a story about a local protest which is not likely to get much sympathy from the New Brunswick government or from the  Brunswick News. (Of course  not. Both the government and the Brunswick News are owned by the Irvings. The protest involves an oil pipeline that Irvings want to build.)
March over the Nashwaak River to highlight the secrecy & risks of the Energy East tar sands pipeline project.(The following is a statement from the organizers.)

FREDERICTON, N.B. - A march will be held on Saturday, June 10th in Fredericton across the Nashwaak River, 1:00pm-1:45pm. Starting at 1:00pm, people will meet at the gravel parking area beside 955 Union Street (borders the Nashwaak River and is just below the overpass of the Walking Train Bridge), and then march across the trail bridge over the Nashwaak River.

This march is part of the 'Hands Across The Water' events held in June along the proposed tar sands Energy East pipeline route in New Brunswick. This event is organized by the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.

"New Brunswick and Indigenous communities have been left in the dark about the route and the risks of the Energy East tar sands pipeline project," says Mark D'Arcy with the Council of Canadians - Fredericton chapter.  "Since 2014, there have been no public meetings (except one in Edmundston over the pipeline risk to their drinking water), no Provincial Environmental Impact Assessment, no community notices along the pipeline route, and no readable maps."

"Since 2015, both the City of Fredericton and the Council of Canadians - Fredericton chapter have asked TransCanada to hold a public meeting for Fredericton residents and conduct a spill modelling study of a tar sands bitumen pipeline spill into the Nashwaak River," says Mark D'Arcy.  "We are still waiting two (2) years later."

"There are 3 tributaries crossed by the pipeline at the head of the Nashwaak River," says Jean Louis Deveau, Chair of the Council of Canadians - Fredericton chapter.  "A spill into any one of these in the middle of the night could go undetected, spreading quickly down the entire stretch of the Nashwaak River to Fredericton. There is no current technology that allows the tar sands bitumen to be captured by booms, and fully cleaned up from the bottom sediment where it sticks aggressively, as documented in the catastrophic spills in the North Saskatchewan River in 2016 and the Kalamazoo River in 2010."

“The risks and consequences of a tar sands bitumen spill are simply too great for our watersheds and our homes,” says Mark D’Arcy. “More than 380 waterways in New Brunswick would be crossed by the Energy East pipeline.  If you live close to a stream, river, or bay where a bitumen spill would spread (releasing life-threatening toxic gas requiring immediate evacuation), the installation of early-warning air sirens, a 1.6km Emergency Evacuation Zone for all residents, and lowered property resale values would become the new reality for your home, cottage, or farm.”

“Considering the size and risk of the project, the lack of readable maps available to public and communities along the proposed pipeline route in New Brunswick is a travesty to the National Energy Board’s stated mandate that the review process be "fair, transparent and respectful", says Mark D’Arcy. “Our communities deserve online maps that are understandable and easy to read. These maps are contrasted by the easy-to-read and understandable maps, as well as a zoomable map on their website, provided by Kinder Morgan for their Trans Mountain Project on the west coast."

"And it is important to show our solidarity with the Wolastoqewiyik (Maliseet People), since the Energy East pipeline would cut across the entire length of their ancestral territory, a territory based on the watershed boundaries of the St. John River Basin," says Jean Louis Deveau. "The Wolastoq Grand Council held a press conference in Fredericton on January 29, 2016 to announce they were opposed to the Energy East pipeline."

"Right here at this location we are reminded of two recent events that give us grave concern about the ability of our province to regulate this pipeline properly and protect our waterways,” says Jean Louis Deveau.  “First, Irving Oil, a partner with TransCanada in the Energy East project, was not ordered to clean up their property directly across Union Street after they removed their oil storage tanks in 2003. As reported by CBC New Brunswick, the Department of Environment and Local Government refused to discuss the soil contamination citing "it is protected under the Privacy Act.”

“Second, the failure to insist that the proposed Sisson Brook be developed as a dry mine, and to insist on large bonds up front for cleanup, compensation, and reclamation,” says Jean Louis Deveau. “The integrity of the Sission Brook tailings pond, located at the head waters of the Nashwaak River, has to be maintained forever; it is important to remember that the Mount Polley tailings pond was only 20 years old when it had the catastrophic failure. Instead of the proposed $50 million reclamation bond, the Province of New Brunswick should insist on a mine reclamation bond of at least $750 million which would cover the cost of dealing with the open pit mine and treating the tailings pond with a wastewater treatment plant.”

"It's our future too", says Tina Oh, a recent recipient of the Starfish 'Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25'.  "Canada will be unable to meet our greenhouse gas climate targets for 2030 if we build these tar sands pipelines. Young people, your children, don’t want runaway climate change. We don't want survival. We deserve more than that. We want our future to include a clean & just transition for workers & communities."

Tina Oh and friends from Mount Allison University have started a social media campaign to show support for these anti-Energy East events this month.  They are asking people to post a photo of yourself or with friends with a sheet of paper(s) saying 'the future I want includes'…." #HandsAcrossTheWater

"We prefer that we move into the direction of alternative energy - something that sustains life, not destroys it", says Clanmother Alma Brooks. " There’s a worldwide movement happening. Renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels so there is no reason to delay."

The final Hands Across The Water event is on Saturday, June 17th in Red Head (Saint John). Starting at 1:00pm, the 2nd 'March to the End of the Line' starts at the intersection of Red Head Road and Hewitt Road, the parade takes ~ 30 minutes, and arrives at Anthony's Cove Road for a picnic on the shore of the Bay of Fundy. This family event ends at 4:00pm.  This event is organized by Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association.
_________________________________________________________________Expect nothing from Trudeau on this. Expect less than nothing from the Conservatives.

But who gives a damn. We're killing them all anyway by starvation and bombing. Oh, and offhand, do you know why we're killing all those innocent people?
Here's a story about the racket that Trudeau wants to suck Canada into. The 'defence' industry is wildly corrupt - as are the politicians who feed contracts to it. And much of it has nothing to with defence. Much of it is building weapons for the sake of the high and corrupt profits to be made.
Here's an item that's couple of months old, but still news.
Britain and the U.S. have killed mlllions of inncent people. And in most our press, the killers we send are heroes 'serving their country'.   Actually, modern terrorism, which was developed by the CIA who trained the Taliban in Afghanistan, is an American invention. And the horror of the wars in Syria and Yemen is that the U.S. uses terrorist methods in them. But, somehow, it's the vicitims who are evil in our news. And when Muslims use the terrorist tactics (as in London) that they learned from the U.S., then they're evil, too.

The United States Empire is the natural, if illegitimate, child of the British Empire.

Land of Hope and Glory, mother of the free,
How can we extol them who are born of thee.
Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set.
God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,,,,

(If Muslims had a similar song, we would brand it as blasphemous and evil.) But, apparently, God wants us to kill people and steal their resources and abuse the people as Canadian mining companies do. Just as God wanted us to murder and displace the native peoples of the Americas.)
Oh, why is Trump putting on the pressure to break the North American Free Trade Agreement?

It's to make it easier to kill government regulation of business in Canada and the U.S. It's rather as though the rest of us decided to ignore traffic lights, to drive drunk, to carry machine guns through the street.

Big business doesn't want any regulations to limit it. It will be in Canada and the U.S. But it doesn't want to pay taxes, or to protect the environment, or to put controls on things like pipelines. In effect, it wants to live outside the rule of law, to ignore traffic lights and to drive drunk.

Both Trump and Trudeau are on the side of big business as are both the Liberals and Conservatives.
American foreign policy, especially since 2000, has created vast areas of instability and chaos. There was no reason for the wars in Afghanisan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen      - or  those wars encouraged by Turkey and Saudi Arabia. There is no reason for hostility to Iran. But the US has created death, starvation and horror over much of the world. And the only reason for it is to give more money to super-wealthy U.S. corporations. (and to the British and Canadian ones that suck up to their American brethren.)

We have created a very dangerously unstable world.
Britain's Jeremy Gordon, while losing the general election, won it. The rise of his Labour Party was a shock to the Conservatives of   prime minister May. Most observers see the rise of the Labour party to be the real outcome of the election. Just days after the election, many British are hailiing this as the future. So does Bernie Sanders, the American democrat with some strong socialist views.
Let's hope Sanders is right because the only alternative is the Nazi Empire that we are becoming a part of.

No, to say that we have drifted into naziism is not an exaggeration. Nazism was dedicated to making billionaires richer. To  rouse support for that, Hitler stirred up patriotism and a racist hatred toward Jews.

And that is what our governments are doing, just shifting the hatred over to Muslims, maybe Mexicans.....anybody who looks different will do....

Here, in New Brunswick, we don't have to worry about war in Quatar - or war anywhere or starvation or mass murder. That's because our Brunswick News rarely mentions it. It needs all the space it can get for the real news. Today's headline is that a village got fined a hundred dollars for not reporting a water problem. The paper goes downhill from there.

The commentary page has its usual non-commentaries. One for example, is not a commentary but a news story. It's about a new provincial system requiring people who 'lobby' any elected any governmental official (you know, for favours like forgiving taxes or running oil piplines over fresh water), will have to register as lobbyists.

Will companies do that? Almost certainly not. And if they do, will that in any way cut down on lobbying? No. And will Brunswick News ever report on the results of this? Almost certainly not.

 It's like passing a law that hookers have to dress like nuns.

Then we have the usual column by a lawyer/politician who has nothing to say except he wants to be everybody's friend. He thinks Richard Nixon was a great man because he ended the Vietnam War. Duh - Mr. Murphy, the U.S. got booted out of Vietnam. Don't you remember all the TV news of terrified refugees and a panicky U.S. army? His vice-president, Spiro Agnew (who had to quit office because he was caught knee-deep in corruption), is a hero to Murphy because he called opponents names.

He also hails the city government for  building an events centre with tax payers paying for it. He seems to think this will make us rich. Now, let's think. If an events centre will make us all rich, do you think there is the slightest chance the big business in this province would let a government build it and get all that profit?

The World section is mostly trivia and ads. There is no mention of any war anywhere in the world, no mention of the millions who are starving. But there's a great photo of an American and a Canadian politician shaking hands.

And the Faith Page? The great issue for Christianity is that we should never feel we have to apologize for helping others. Yeah. I've been worried about that.
Who causes terrorism? Mostly it's us.
Britain is attacked by terrorists?   We shed tears and express sympathy. Iran is attacked by terrorists? We place sanctions on Iran.
Isn't it terrible the way terrorists attacked London? It makes you wonder who trained them and who supplies them to this day.
What the attacks on Manchester and London were about may not be so simple as our news media suggest.
I well remember the jubilation of my Jewish friends  (and me) and the Israeli victory in the six day war. A lot of that jubilation of me and of my Jewish friends has faded as Israel has become the great aggressor.
If the story below is true, it could be bad news for all of us. My experience of Jews in Montreal was very extensive. Most notable among then was a profound respect for education and for open and public discussion of serious matters.
I frequently (many times a year) spoke at churches and synagogues. I learned early that in the synagogues I had better have something important and serious to talk about. In churches, I leaned I had to keep it light, and have a few jokes up my sleeve.

I also learned that, by far, the biggest and most frequent audiences were Jewish. I live now in a city with almost no Jewish population - and the lack of any serious discussion of anything is very evident.

There are aspects of Judaism that are important to all of us. I would hope to see them saved.
Sorry this one went on so long, and is late in being posted.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 8: A change of style for today.

Sorry this one is late. It's late because the article above reminded me that news, even truthful news, means little without an understanding of the broader picture. The news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, for example, told us only that Kennedy had been killed. There was no credible indication of who had killed him or why. There still isn't. But why he was killed and who did it, is  the part that makes this event important to understand.

The latest suggestions are that he was seeking an end to the cold war, and had refused to mount a full-fledged attack on Cuba. So it was, perhaps, U.S. government agents who killed him.

So I thought there is a need of some explanation to explain things that are happening now.

Russia invaded Afghanistan for 10 years - 1979 to 1989. The resistance of Afghanistan was astonishing and, like the British of over a century earlier, the Russians had to get out. Afghanistan had been slowly moving toward democracy. It continued to move that way, with difficulty, after the Russians left - though it then suffered a civil war with the Taliban.

The expulsion of the Russians was done with American help. It was the CIA that arranged arms shipments, and that created and trained al Quaeda and the Taliban in the guerilla fighting that, when the other side does it, we call terrorism. The Jihadist groups fighting in the middle east today, are descendants of that American training. (And, indeed, are still commonly supplied by the U.S.)
Then, just over twenty years after the the Russians backed out, the U.S. and other NATO countries invaded.

No. it had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack on the U.S. In fact, there is no evidence that the Afghanistan government had anything to do with that attack.  When it happened, the U.S. demanded that Afghanistan send Bin Laden to the U.S. for trial. The Afghanistan government said it would - but with two conditions. It wanted to see some evidence against bin laden, and it wanted the case tried in a world court. Otherwise, Bin Laden was likely to face a kangaroo court and execution. The U.S. refused, then invaded.

Nor was the U.S. trying to bring democracy to Afghanistan. No country, not even the U.S., has the right to force any type of government on any country. As well, the U.S. happily overthrows democratic governments to install dictators. Guatemala is an obvious case. So was Chile, Haiti, Cuba, Panama  as well many other South American states.  The Phillipines, for over 40 years, was under an American dictator. It supports dictators in Congo and other parts of Africa. And it just loves the King of Saudi Arabia.

U.S. corporations saw World War Two as their chance to take over from a floundering British Empire. But this time, their empire would be the whole world. It was an extension of an older idea of U.S. conquest that was delicately called Manifest Destiny. And of course, it had the blessing of God - just as the British Empire and Dutch and French and Spanish empires once had once had the blessing of God for their mass murders and exploitation.

The jewel in this empire would be China. That's why, late in world war two, the U.S. warned the British not to reconquer Hong Kong, the heart of British control of China. But Churchill defied Roosevelt, and took it. The U.S. continued to support dictator Chiang kai-shek,  a Christian gentelman and American ally who was perhaps the world's biggest drug dealer. But he lost - and so the U.S. lost China.

The war in Korea was fought not to defend South Korea from an aggressive north or to save democracy. Neither the North nor the South was a democracy. And the North and the South had both been aggressive toward each other  for years before the Korean War.

So why fight the North?  The U.S. wanted a base for the invasion of China. The Vietnam war was fought for the same reason. The U.S. lost lost both wars.
Then came the invasion of Afghanistan. Why?

The official story was that the 9/11 attack had been planned by Afghanistan. In fact, it had not. And Afghanistan had offered to provide for a full investigation of that by world courts. But the U.S. refused, and invaded. So what was the real reason it invaded?

For a start, we now know that the Bush administration had been planning a war on Afghanistan well BEFORE 9/11. We know that Russia had wanted it badly enough to fight a ten-year war. And that, of course, was well before 9/11. Here's a possible reason why both Russia and the U.S. made such an effort.

 Osama bin Laden is dead. He was the U.S. excuse for the war. So why is it still being fought? The resources issue gives us a reason that is in accord with the reason for wars in Iraq and Syria and Libya, the slaughter of the Maya peoples in Guatemala. It also explains the many U.S. controlled dictatorships in South America. (In fact, the search for land and resources runs through the whole history of the U.S. since Columbus.)

And the involvement of NATO? NATO itself is a piece of empire building. It exists to provide hangers-on for the U.S. empire.  Britain hangs on to it so British corporations, their empire lost,  can still plunder as servants of the American Empire. They are the birds who follow the cattle to pick up their droppings. And that is also why Canada sent troops to Afghanistan.

Oh, the U.S. also justifies its invasion by saying the Taliban enforce terribly cruel laws in areas it controls. Very true. The Taliban do enforce cruel laws. Thieves get their arms cut off, and they are left to bleed to death. That is cruel and terrible. But exactly the same laws are enforced by the best arab friend of the U.S., the King of Saudi Arabia. In fact, the political and social views of kings of Saudi Arabia are almost identical to those of the Taliban.

So, this looks like most of the wars in U.S. history  - fought to enrich corporation bosses. And the attractive part of it is that those corporation bosses don't do any fighting - and they commonly don't pay any of the cost. That's left to the rest of us.

And let's remember that killing people to make bigger fortunes for billionaires does not make us patriots, and it is not a way to 'serve your country'. (Just remember, people on the other side have been trained to think the same way. Wars are fought by 'patriots'  --against 'patriots', by people who are serving their country  --fighting against other people who are seving their country.
In fact, empires have nothing to do with patriotism. The British armies that killed and plundered all over the world  to build an empire were building it to make the very wealthy British even wealthier. The soldiers and the British people got nothing out of it but brutal poverty. There was no patriotism in that, just murdering and plundering for a handful of the wealthy.

And they were serving their country? How did their country benefit from this?  Common British soldiers got nothing but years of abuse and barely survival pay. British civilians got vile jobs with long hours and no holidays and low, low pay in the factories of the wealthy. Anyone who lost an arm or leg in the very dangerous machinery was simply fired on the spot. There was no help. This rule included children. (It happened in Canada, too.)

The Boer War was fought to steal South Africa's gold.  The poor fought it to make the rich richer. That had nothing to do with   'serving one's country' or being 'patriotic'. World War One was fought, primarily, to prevent a united Germany from becoming an industrial state that would challenge the industries of Britain and France.

The Korean War was fought (and lost) to give the U.S. a base for an attack on China. Canadian 'Peacekeepers' were sent Haiti as a front for the U.S. in getting rid of an elected president, and imposing an American puppet. Canadians had the usual slogans dangled in front of them for serving in Afghanistan. They were being patriotic.. They were serving their country. And, oh, yes, Afghanis were evil (like almost all Muslims except for kings of Saudi Arabia.)I see no reason for anyone to be proud of all that. Or of the Canadian bombings in Libya, Iraq, Syria.

There is nothing new about a Trump, nothing new at his spewing hatred at Muslims. There's not even anything new about his fighting wars to make money for the very, very rich. Hitler did exactly the same thing. (That's why, in the 1930s, Canadian and American big business rather admired Hitler.)
That's why, on November 11, I would certainly honour those who served in our armed forces. But I would also apologize to them for our betrayal of all those things we told them they were fighting for.

And the situation now is worse than anything I have above.

 The wealthy have not only lied to us about wars for centuries. They have not only sent tens of thousands of Canadians to death.  They are losers. Despite the most expensive military in the world in the U.S., despite their massive killing all over the world, including bombing millions of civilans to death and including the starvation forced on Yemen, they have been consistent losers.

The U.S. is an empire in collapse. The temptation to save all by going nuclear is very much evident.

There's also another reason we have to stop these wars.

Climate change, despite the assurances of the oil industry, is happening. We have, maybe, twenty years to get it under control. If we don't, we will see climate wars far worse than any nuclear war. And corporate bosses have proven over the cenuturies that they are too greedy to recognize that. (Oh, I know they can fool the chamber of commerce. But that's easy.)

Here in Canada, we know, or should know, that the Liberal and Conservative parties are both owned by corporations. The same is true of both major parties in the U.S.

It's worth thinking about that.

And if you're worried about evil people, think of the British, Americans and Saudis who are deliberately starving the people of Yemen to death. Onward, Christian soldiers...

Sieg Heil!
On a more optimistic note, here's a site sent to me by a reader.
A footnote. In 1918, Canada sent some 4,000 troops to Russia. Their role was fight the revolutionaries in Russia, and to restore a czarist regime. Many of the soldiers supported the revolutionaries, and rioted on their way to embarkation. The had to be forced by other troops with rifles and fixed bayonets to board the ships.

The leaders were arrested by the government. But the commander of the force, General Elmsley, ordered them released because he saw no reason for Canadians to be forced to fight in a war that had nothing to do with Canada. General Elmsley knew patriotism and 'fighting for one's country' had nothing to do with fighting a war to make a few of wealthy even wealthier.

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5: Warning - more of me than usual.

Climate change is happening. At the other end of the world from Canada's north, what may be the biggest iceberg in history is breaking off Antarctica. (Brunswick news hasn't noticed it yet.)

I'm slow in reporting on Gwynne Dyer's book 'Climate Wars' because I'm slow in readinig it. So far it's a masterful piece of work. But it's a complex blend of scientific study and  Dyer's  own insight into how governments will react - and why. I don't doubt that he's right. But it's profoundly depressing.

For just a few important passages - world population has tripled since 1940. Agriculture can't keep up. Africa is already in a food crisis. China faces the displacement of hundreds of millions as rising oceans and dying rivers destroy its farmland. The U.S. has stalled in food production as the south west runs out of water. (Among other things, it is running out of water in the deep reservoirs that it was been pumping out for water its crops.) Organizations with access to considerable expertise foresee even worse and imminent  crises in Mexico and much of Latin America.

You may not believe the scientists on this. But the U.S. army does; and it is, accordingly, preparing for the Climate Wars to come.
Similar food disasters are beginning in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other parts  of the world. China, alone, is likely to produce climate refugees in the hundreds of millions.

Canada stands to get off lightly - as will Russia and most of Europe . Greenland will blossom as will both the Arctic and Antarctic. But they won't blossom enough for the hundreds of millions of refugees. So China, for example,  might well go to war with Russia for productive lands in Siberia. The U.S. might well expect Canada and The Great Lakes to replace the water it is losing. And that will have a profound effect on Canada.

None of this is in the distant future. It's soon. And that, too, is slowing down my reading. I come to a point at which I don't want to read it. And it conveys a sense of hatred of the oil billionaires and their arrogance and greed and stupidity - and of the politicians  (Trudeau among them) who are servants of the oil industry. And of the journalists who don't tell us what is happening.
In Saturday's paper, columnist Brian Murphy was in top form by the standards of Brunswick News. It was about Andrew Scheer's election as leader of Canada's Conservative Party. As usually, Murphy had nothing by trivia to say.  (Well, the headline on it said Scheer's victory is proof that Canada cannot stomach a Trump. But Murphy offers no proof of this, or of anything else.)

He has nothing to say about the things such an election should be about. It should be about the winner's fundamental social values, about the priorites he should have (such as serving the public - all of it). No, it's all just about image and winning, and serving the interests of big money.  What Murphy calls policy is really just style.
Finally, I was struck by a CBC headline on the recent terrorist attack in London, England. The headline was "Brutal and cowardly act."

Now, headlines are important. They, more than any other part of the story, commonly set the tone for our reaction to the event. In this case, the tone is clear. Muslims are evil. Yes, the attack was certainly brutal. (I don't see what's cowardly about it. When our side kills helpless people, our side are called heroes fighting for their country.)

But, yes, the attack was brutal. I have no quarrel with that view. But-----
The U.S. and Britain killed a million and a half people in Iraq. The majoriy were civilians and, yes, they included babies by the thousands. The U.S. and Britain also lied about the reason for their attack.

Have you ever seen a headline calling this a 'brutal and terrible act'? In fact, the U.S., with notable help from Britain, has killed innocent civilians all over the world - drones, forced starvation (Yemen), mass murder - Guatemala, Iraq, Syria and many, many others. In fact, the U.S. is by far the world's leading terrorist.   (As a matter of fact, it is the one that taught terrorism to the Muslims of Afghanistan back in the days when Russia was attacking Afghanistan. And that is what produced Osama Bin Laden.)

In fact, that CBC headline was propaganda. It creates an emotional reaction that Muslims are evil. The failure to use such headlines in the case of American terrorism is a similar form of propaganda. I don't think it's entirely deliberate. But its impact is still propaganda. And our thinking is very much shaped by headlines.

Seig Heil!
Here is the giant iceberg that's forming in the Antarctic - and this is just the beginning. But we gotto burn more oil. It creates jobs.
Onward, Christian Soldiers...
Meanwhile, let's pass around the hat for uranium-mining millionaires who are being cheated out of their right to make higher profits.
Here's a film about the Bilderberg Group, a regular gathering of politicians and very high ranking bilionaires and their hangers-on to decide what policies governments should follow. Doesn't it make you feel good to know that our billionaires are thinking of us?

(Several years ago, one of the attendees was former N.B. premier Bernard Lord. Unfortunately, the results of these meetings are not made public. So we can only guess at what wonderful things Mr. Lord did for us.)
In World War Two, British and Americans were told they were fighting to bring peace to the world. The reality is that American big business as looking forward to world conquest, and Britain was getting used to being a 'fetch' dog for the American empire.

So was Canada. The Canadian involvement in Afghanistan was almost certainly illegal. Ditto the use of 'peacekeepers' in Haiti.

This site is a very short list of illegal American wars since 1945. The slaughter of Mayans in Guatemala, for example, is not included. Nor is an earlier invasion of Guatemala. And there have been many, many others.
The U.S. is far, far the world's biggest spender on weapons, now somewhere over 600 billion dollars a year. that provides enough weaponry to destroy the planet many times over. But, oh, they need more. That's why Trump  is hitting up Canada and the rest of NATO to spend more on defence.

Is it needed to protect us? No. Russian spending is way below the U.S.  at 70 billion or so. Even China has a far smaller budget than the U.S.  Not that it matters. I mean, how many times can we kill the whole world?

In all countries, this kind of spending is highly destructive of education, of health care, even of food supply. So why do we ignore these to spend money on inflated arsenals?

Because there are huge profits for large companies that make weapons. Yes. It's all a simple matter of redistributing wealth from everybody to the already wealthy.
This story is more than a month old. But, so far, the New Brunswick news media haven't noticed. Canada is a big player in one of the most vicious industries in the world.
Despite its title, this next article is really about the enormous power over government that is held by the CIA, the FBI, and other agencies.
The U.S. with what is far the world's largest military budget. has not been able in 16 years to defeat bands of guerilla fighters in Afghanistan. Nor has it ever been clear why the U.S. invaded Afghanistant in the first place.
The next is a site which, by its title, seems radical, indeed.  It's good. But it's a little gentle on the root cause of our problems. Capitalism is, of course. It is the major capitalists and their political flunkes who attend the Bilderbord Group to give politicians their marching orders. Almost all wars are fought on behalf of major capitalists. Their greed requires the effective destruction of governments so that they can abuse the rest of us as much as they like. The greed also given them permission to murder, enslave, impoverish  uncountable millions. They kill their own people by destroying  health care where it is provided by government. They destroy education by making it an institution for private profit rather than for learning.

Of course there's a place for private business. But that place does not give it the right to mass murder, to starve millions,  to threaten the whole planet. They rather resemble the mafia, though on a far larger scale.

The also show signs of brain damage due to greed. If they get all the power they want, if they don't pay taxes, if they destroy the environment, if they impoverish everybody else, who will be able to buy their products?  (However, the process won't last long enough for us to find out. As things are going, they will soon destroy themselves as well as well as u. This might be an interesting topic to discuss over coffee in the barn next time you're at the Irving Chapel.)

None of the above is exaggerated. The wars in the middle east are about oil - not about good guys and bad guys. The unrest in Latin America is about dreadful abuse of employees   (including murder), and a wish to operate with no controls whatever. Thus the behaviour of Canadian mining companies in Latin America. And always with the cooperation of Canadian governments.

For a good article about that, take a look at a Canadian magazine called Monitor. It has a review of "The Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America" by Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber. Yes, the big Canadian capitalists act just like the American ones. So do the Chinese ones and the Russian ones.

Make no mistake. The world's leading capitalists are killers running loose. And we have very little time to stop them.  The greed and mass murder all over the world has created, especially for the last 17 years a destruction of any sense of world order. And we can expect no help at all from the Liberal or the Conservative party. Americans can expect none from the Republicans and very, very little from the Democrats.

I felt a need to get all that in now because we are very, very close to shackles on the internet. It is already spied on by government agents in many countries. But even more shackles are coming. That's why many politicians speak "false news" - usually referring to blogs on the net. In fact, if you want false news, you can find it in The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Toronto Globe. Our local Brunswick News specializes in trivia, ignorance and lies. Almost all these commercial news media are owned by the same people who want to own the world. In their 140 or so years of existence, most privately owned news media have always been pedlars of false news.

But the rumours about 'fake news' suggest somebody wants to see action against websites The very wealthy want absolute control of us. So we are quite  likely to see a crackdown on web sites. Exactly like Hitler's Naziis, most of our politicians are closely tied to billionaires. And the Naziis, with the full agreement of the German wealthy, cracked down on anybody who disagreed. We are already much like Hitler's Germany.

(Why do you think Hitler set out to conquer at least Europe and Africa? Like Trump, Hitler fed on German hatred of an ethic group. But that was no reason for a world war. Like American wars going back centuries, Hitler wanted control of markets and resources to make his local capitalists wealthy.)

Why did the U.S. enter the war? to help Britain or to help the Jews? No. U.S. capitalists didn't give a damn for either. Because Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. No. The U.S. navy had been designed largely for war with Japan for a good twenty years before Pearl Harbor. It entered to the was because it wanted China, and Japan was capturing too much of it. As well, U.S. capitalists saw a chance to get economic control of China by defeating Japan -and also by getting parts of a collapsing British empire. (That's why Roosevelt ordered the British in 1945 not to recapture Hong Kong, the heart of Britain's trade empire in China. It was to be recaptured by the U.S. to make American capitalists richer. - But Churchill defied him, and ordered the recapture.

Sorry for that long bit.  There's a great deal we have to think about. And we don't have much time.

Oh, the article - it's a daily net newspaper. Despite its name, (Naked Capitalism) it's not nearly so radical as one might expect. It's focus is heavily on the U.S. It has good material. Alas! it's weak on good writers. Many of them are highly knowledgeable, but too many write in a style that is too elevated for us normal people.